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I feel like I have done natural (AP) parenting all wrong.

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I have a beautiful 18 month old son. 

I knew nothing of babies when I had him. I knew I wanted to keep things as natural as I could. Unfortunately that led to me being the only one up with him at night- even thinking he was awake at every whimper- so I would pick him up and breastfeed him. Breastfeeding became out go-to. I became the cuddler, the nurturer and left my DF behind. I refused CIO much to his dismay and everyone telling us that "That's how you do it". But now he is 18 months old, wants nothing to do with his dad and is becoming more and more irrate with me when I refuse to nurse him. He is 18 months old and still nurses some 20 times a day and all night. No, that is not an exaggeration. 

He does fine at daycare, they can even get him to nap without a bottle! 

I feel like while I had the best intentions I feel like I perpetuated this in the worst way. 

by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 2:09 AM
Replies (21-27):
by on Nov. 21, 2012 at 9:35 AM
1 mom liked this

Let daddy do bath time or story time or have their own play time to bond.  My daughter was the same way. She preferred mom to ANYONE when she was upset or out of sorts, but her dad still found ways to bond with her.  He was a very hands on dad.  He would do the early morning feedings so I could sleep since I got up with her in the middle of the night.  He changed her and would bathe her when he was home.  She had a blast when he bathed her too.  They had elaborate games that they would play in the tub and if I let them they would play for an hour!  

by on Nov. 21, 2012 at 9:55 AM
My husband has PTSD, and crying babies set him off, so I try to limit that for him.

That being said, when our son is having a particularly bad night (4 teeth at once), my husband is incredibly patient when I hit my wall.

My husband has an excuse for his reaction. What does your DF say when you talk to him about his behavior? That would not fly with me without it prompting a conversation. He is as much the parent as you are. Your boobs do not make you the only caregiver.

This clingy stage WILL end, but parenting discussions shouldn't. That is what I am more concerned about for you.
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by on Nov. 21, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Sounds completely normal, mama! My DD was like that and now she is almost 2 and barely nurses at all. I say go with the flow, give him limits that is ok. Sounds like you are doing fine! 

by Jill - Admin on Nov. 21, 2012 at 9:47 PM
It is hard to do natural parenting in our society. Families don't stay together or close by to support each other like they do in other cultures or like they did in the past. We are pretty much on an island by ourselves. We go to an AP meeting once a month, which is extremely helpful but we have no outside help either. My mom rarely helps with the kids. It's very very intense and we get no break (3 special needs kids). I certainly understand but I think this is just a phase and you shouldn't feel like you made your son this way. All kids have their own personalities and go through different phases.

Quoting MamaPrime:

Plus I just don't have the support for this type of parenting that I should have built. It is me and DF and baby and that is it. We have friends, but they are all in the creative/theater business and are never around or willing to help. Everything has been on us. If only we had moved closer to family or other friends I might occasionally get that break. 

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by on Nov. 21, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Ah man I have no advice to give but I have felt similarly. He is only 7 months but my boobs are the only way he'll go to sleep or being worn. He won't hardly nap if I'm not in bed so I get maybe 20 minutes twice a day (long enough to pee and make the other kids lunch). I can't cook or clean without wearing him. When I pee I have to take him with me to the bathroom and set him down on the rug so he can see me. He is ok with Dad if he wears him and sometimes if he's in a good mood and just ate. It can be very exhausting and I definitely get touched out. ((HUGS))
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by on Nov. 22, 2012 at 10:42 AM

My 19 month old screams if daddy tries to get him. He only wants mama. I swear he nurses more now then when he was a newborn. He will eventually not need you as much. Enjoy it while you still have the chance. 

by on Nov. 22, 2012 at 11:09 AM

I'm glad to read all of this. My daughter is 16 months old and incredibly attached to me. We cosleep, still breastfeeding, I wear her, and I'm a SAHM so I'm with her literally 24/7. I keep reading about how attachment parenting results in more secure and independent children, and lately I've been wondering how true that is considering how clingy she is to me. Most of the time she won't even tolerate Daddy trying to play with her, let alone anyone she doesn't see on a daily basis. So I'm glad it's still normal for her age.

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